Secret Escapade Revealed After 30 Years of Silence
Growing up in a small rural town in Alabama might seem to some as a boring existence. Nothing could be further from the truth of it. Life growing up in Haleyville, Alabama was exciting and full of quest and exploration.
After summer was over and school started back we all looked forward to football season. High School Football in Alabama is serious business. The excitement building up to the first game was tremendous. We would be so excited.
In 1977 we had a great team. We had been undefeated the year before and the surrounding towns were bent on beating us. One of our major rivals was the town of Hamilton. The Hamilton Aggies. They had a pretty good team but not as good as the Haleyville Lions.
We had won so many games that we had a reputation of being big, bad and unbeatable. Team spirit was at an all time high. During the game it got intense. The score was 17-16 our favor. They had just scored and we had the ball. The kick off ensued and one of our class mates recovered the ball and ran it all the way into the end zone. Touchdown!! The crowd went wild.
Our team had secretly planned on a little end zone antic if they ran a kickoff in for a touchdown. As soon as the player crossed the goal line every Haleyville Lion player dropped to the ground and started doing pushups. It was great. Well, great for us. The opposing Aggies did not think it was too funny. Matter of fact it made them pretty mad. They were steaming by the time the game was over.
Meeting our team on the way to the buses, they challenged us to a fight. They said that the next night they would be in Haleyville, ready to fight it out off the football field. The word quickly got around. Everyone was to meet at the Dairy Queen and convoy to the fight where all bets were off and the gloves were too.
All kids knew to meet at the Diary Queen at dark thirty. That Saturday morning was full of buzz. Adults must not have known it was even going on but every kid in Haleyville knew and Hamilton showed up in massive numbers.
That night at the Diary Queen there were over 200 cars. You would think that some adult would have noticed but no one evidently did. The convoy started there and picked up steam along the way. By the time everyone was in line there were over 200 cars all packed full of kids.
We got to the field out in the country where the fight was to be held. The fight started. No referees, no coaches, no teachers and no adults. The girls stayed back and watched. I have to say I was somewhat afraid. It got pretty intense as punches were being thrown.
Then someone yelled, ďHe bit his ear off.Ē Lo and behold one of our players had almost bit the ear off of another player. Now this was war. It looked like our guys were winning until the blast of a gun shot. 500 kids scattered like wild fire. People were running to their cars and getting out of there. One of the Hamilton players had brought a gun. The fight was over. No one expected anything like that.
Needless to say we all went home and everything was hush, hush. Nobody was saying anything.
The next school day everyone was still pretty much in shock. What began as an innocent football rivalry had turned really ugly. We knew that if the adults got wind of it we would all be in trouble. As quickly as the word of the fight had spread the word spread that no one had better say anything. And no one did. I donít think that the adults know to this day. It has been over 30 years since that fight and I still donít think anyone has said anything.
I think we are safe to talk about it now. No one was hurt except for the guy that almost lost his ear. Yep, small town Alabama is buzzing with exciting activity. Donít be fooled by our southern innocence especially when it comes to football rivalry.
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